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Blue Jays' George Springer to begin season on IL with oblique injury

Blue Jays' George Springer to begin season on IL with oblique injury
Former Houston Astros outfielder George Springer signed a six-year, $150 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays this past off-season. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

March 31 (UPI) -- Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Wednesday that All-Star outfielder George Springer will start the season on the 10-day injured list because of a Grade 2 left oblique strain.

Montoyo noted that Springer's most recent MRI showed improvement, and the team expects him back "as soon as possible."

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"I'm hoping it's as soon as possible, of course, but we've got to go day to day," Montoyo told reporters. "He's got to face pitchers in live BPs, and with how he'll respond from there, then we'll know more. He's day-to-day to see how it goes."

Springer was scratched from a game March 9 because of tightness in his abdominal muscles. The 31-year-old outfielder didn't appear in any exhibition games after March 21.

The three-time All-Star selection was diagnosed with the strain March 23. Springer's IL stint can be backdated to March 29, meaning he will miss at least six games to begin the season.

Springer had a .240 batting average with one home run and two RBIs in 25 at-bats across 10 spring training games.

The Blue Jays signed Springer to a six-year, $150 million contract this past off-season. The 2017 World Series MVP spent his first seven MLB seasons with the Houston Astros.

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Montoyo also said left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray will head to the injured list due to a bruised elbow.

Toronto begins the 2021 season Thursday against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

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